A Travellerspoint blog

Kerala

Dec 2007

sunny

We arrived in Trivandrum on 2 Dec 2007 and checked into Samudra beach resort, Kovalam.
Wondered who told us that it would be winter and weather will be cool in December.
Gosh! We all got very tanned by the end of our walk along the beach.

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The sand was pretty hot ... but this dog seemed to be enjoying his basking session.
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Very important sign board on the beach ...
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Just raise your hands if you need help ... i'm sure the guards will come and save you!
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I believe they were the local students and were on an excursion to the beach. I was quite amused by what they were doing. They stood in a line and waited for the waves to come near their toes before they squealed and scrambled away. Hahahaha ... so fun ..... I meant, so fun watching them. I love their colourful outfits.
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Here's our resort ...
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We took an overnight train to Goa. For those who have second thoughts about overnight trains in India, don't worry it's punctual, safe and very comfy (we are all girls ... and ok, we took First Class AC train). We saved about US$100 each as compared to taking a domestic flight. And my experience with domestic flight is ... there'll be DELAYS by a few hours!!

Goa beach ...
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From Goa, we made our way down to Munnar, Thekkady, Alleppey and Cochin.

I really enjoyed the traditional Kathakali show at Thekkady ... despite the fact that I couldn't understand a word of what the narrator was saying/singing.
Remember ... don't just go for the show. You MUST watch how they put on their costumes and make-up! And also fyi ... kathakali is a "all males performance".
Forget about the Periyar Tiger Nature Reserve. I seriously don’t understand why it’s a “must visit” attraction. All 4 of us almost fell asleep on the cruise. Come on! How often do you expect the elephants or tigers to come out of the jungle and get a sip from the lake? You'll only see some birds, deer and perhaps buffaloes.

Kathakali artistes at work ...
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Honestly, I least expect this 18-day tour to be a luxurious one. Somehow, the usual impression of India -- busy, crowded, noisy, dusty ...
But that's NOT the case for Kerala & Goa (at least). Need I say more? Didn't you just see those photos above?
We were provided with 3*-4* hotels/resorts/houseboat throughout the trip. Thanks to Dastan Travels (India agency) who organised almost everything for us. We liaised with Manzoor (boss of Dastan) via emails, and sent him a bank draft as a deposit for our bookings. He helped us with the arrangement of accommodation, car + driver, planned most of the route, booked our train tickets, etc.

In short, it was a tailored tour for the 4 of us. Most important of all, I must say that we were well taken care of. We had a responsible driver, and Manzoor called us every few other days to ensure that everything was running smoothly.

Like I said, we had good accommodation. The huge double-deck houseboat (Alleppey) that we were given must have attracted quite a bit of attention along the backwaters! I'm not sure if the price that we had paid for the whole trip was considered steep, but we all felt it was value for money. And we are engaging Dastan Travels to help us organise our next trip to Kashmir (Dec 2008).
Should anyone be interested to contact Dastan Travels, juz drop me a note.

Here's the normal houseboat you'll see all along the backwaters :
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Here's our LUXURIOUS, DOUBLE-DECK houseboat !
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What's inside? There's a living room (with sofa and TV), 2 air-conditioned bedrooms with attached bathrooms, a kitchen (for the chef who cooked us very sumptuous meals), and on the upper deck, there's a sun-deck and dinning area.

It's really a hassle to upload more photos. But if you are interested, I've got more here:
http://community.webshots.com/user/noohc/

Posted by Choon 03:02 Archived in India Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Food !!!

Not for the weak stomach ...

Not everyone can stomach bread and CURRIES on a daily basis for ... say, consecutively 1 week or more.
At the very least, I've heard of 2 who can't ... and one of them is my Dad!
Suffered from indigestion after about a week or so.

But so far, I enjoyed my food!!

Okay ... let's start with the ingredients ....... here's a market in town …

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The staple : naan, chapatti, batura, poori, rice, noodles, etc.
And since this is India, how can you miss the different types of curries?
If you enjoy Indian food or curries in Singapore ... well, they are quite similar.

Poori with yoghurt and curries …
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Appam …
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Never mind the names ... just eat!
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The Fish n Chips that I had ordered all seemed to be the same --- thin, brown and dry.
I gave up after a while …
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… and went for Chicken chop instead …
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Some snacks we found along the street :

Deep fried green chilli (about SGD$0.10 per piece)
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Banana chips … didn’t quite like the coconut taste (fried with coconut oil)
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Posted by Choon 02:51 Comments (0)

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